November 2015 -

Just a place for my old thoughts

Getting back on the horse
Friday, 27 November 2015 12:37 am

So, did a trial at Malt Dining last night. Chef Paul had given me a call to see what I was up too after he lost a chef a few days ago.

I had to go the shop on Wednesday to hand over the keys (It is a very strange feeling not being able to go there whenever I want) so I went in Thursday night to meet the crew and get a handle on the food. It was actually really good being back in a kitchen and remembering that I am actually a pretty good chef.

Working in the restaurant just lead to self doubt and all sorts of issues with my mind being split between the kitchen, the FoH and the business. It always made it tough to have a good night but to go home knowing that it wasn't going to be enough to dig us out. That constant pressure just took its eventual toll.

But to just be in a kitchen where I have a job to do and can just focus on that was very a refreshing change. It was admittedly a fairly quiet night for them so I had time to just prep and listen to the guys talk.

I have a few hours per week there as a start while I try and score an IT job. I am working on my resume at the moment but it is a fairly slow process. I have to keep reminding myself about what each acronym means and then refresh myself on that aspect of tech.

I hope to have my first draft completed today hopefully so that Deb can help me polish it during the weekend.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015 11:10 pm

Well, it has been a mixed week. I have been working on an IT resume as well as the occasional trip to the restaurant to clean down and pack up.

We did get to spend the weekend up the coast at Serena's which was lovely, just laying around and mainly sleeping. Unfortunately Deb's back/leg is just getting worse so it was on her mind the whole time.

Then Tuesday we received a letter from the land lords lawyer saying that they were terminating the lease because we had ceased to trade and taking back possession of the restaurant. I am up there this morning to negotiate the termination agreement and frankly it scares the hell out of me. I'll know if a few hours how we will fair.

I did get down to Mum's place on Monday to help her pack. She is moving in with Jane & Ray and trying to clear out of the rental until by today. I hope she got everything cleared.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015 11:39 pm

I never realised just how tired I had become. Over the last week I think I have probably slept 12 hours a day. Going to bed at a reasonable hour then not getting up until after Deb leaves. Then even having a quick snooze in the afternoon.

It brings to mind all the times over the last few months that when I was so very clumsy. Dropping trays at home, breaking dishes and generally being a klutz.

On top of that I was so quick to anger and fire up. From yelling at other motorists on the road or just losing it when faced with little problems. Deb certainly noticed it and took the major brunt of my super short temper.

But as I gain back some of my lost sleep I am feeling more at peace with myself and less and less like I did a few short weeks ago.

Being able to spend proper time with Deb has also been very special this week. Sunday we went to see Les Mis with its new staging which was very good. The last of my birthday presents. And last night we went out to catch The Martian at the movies before it goes off. I so dearly miss being able to spend time with her. Only a few short weeks ago I wouldn't have been able to enjoy either event because I would be fixed on the restaurant.

I am still terrified by what might happen when the landlord finally comes back to us with an exit plan. But I am feeling more at ease with the idea that no matter what happens I will have Deb and we can get by one way or the other.

Calling last drinks
Saturday, 14 November 2015 11:51 pm

So yesterday Deb and I headed into the shop to catch up with a few people and try to drink the beer taps dry. We made it through the Wayfarer but the 4 Pines is still holding out. I'll need to dump and clean the taps tomorrow anyway but it was good effort. I also managed to serve up the last of my fried food as well as 5kg of chicken wings so there is very little perishable stock left.

It was bittersweet having people in the restaurant like that. The last time was for our opening.

But it was good to be able to speak with people and just sort of normalise our experience. If you talk about it enough it helps to dull the hurt somewhat.

It was also lovely that a couple of people brought gifts along of a wine and even a lotto ticket. That was actually a lovely gesture.

And we have closed the doors
Friday, 13 November 2015 12:23 am

It has been a really brutal week. I went into work on Tuesday and discovered that my chef had simply walked out without giving me any notice. The gutless wonder left on Saturday, got paid, and never came back.

After months of 'making it work' no matter how few staff I had or whatever new disaster occurred I finally gave up. There was no way we could trade effectively through the week. My new FoH waitress was awesome but needed a fair bit of attention as she learned the new processes and there was no way I could devote myself to the kitchen and have it work.

On top of that all of my job ads were getting either no responses or I was getting contacted by foreign workers with little english and unknown skills. I needed a real chef that I could trust the kitchen too.

On top of that we were just loosing money at a ridiculous rate. Each month since we opened I have never broke even and was spending literally thousands of dollars to remain open. So something had to give.

The problem we now have is that the landlord is holding all the cards and, although we have a good working relationship, this is a business and he could take us for everything we own. Cars, house the lot. It all hinges on the next few days as he approaches his lawyer and decides what to do. That uncertainty is a very difficult thing to deal with right now.

And Deb has been dealing with a slipped disk in her back that is placing enormous pressure on her nerves and triggering chronic pain in her leg. As someone who would wake up at 5am to go jogging this is something that is cutting her to the very core, her ability to exercise and be active. She watched her Dad spend the great last portion off his life trapped in a chair and that was something that she was dearly trying to avoid through remaining fit and healthy. And at this time, with everything that is happening with the business, she has double the amount of issues to deal with.

I have been trying to make sense of everything that has, and is happening, at the moment but I think it is going to take a very long time to be able to look back on this with anything other than gut wrenching terror. The restaurant was supposed to be an investment in the future for us but it has simply come to symbolise a massive core of bad luck and heart-ache that never came to anything good.